Austin Falley
School of Business

School of Business to host inaugural international business conference

Mon, 02/04/2013

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Business will present its inaugural international business conference, “China Emerged: Rethinking Your Global Strategy," March 1 at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

The daylong conference will address pertinent themes in international business, including the sustainability of China’s political, economic and social systems; leveraging a company’s China-based resources for global operations; investing in China; rethinking how firms do business in the growing nation; and China’s expanding role in Africa, Latin America and other burgeoning economies.

“China is at crossroads,” said Tailan Chi, professor and director of KU’s Institute for International Business. “Rapid increases in skill levels and wage rates are altering its economic structure, and its citizens’ demand for greater political transparency and economic equality are putting enormous pressure on the government to undertake deeper institutional reforms. How might a company respond to all these changes strategically? This is the key question that we are going to examine at the conference.”

The event will showcase a keynote address by Stephen Chipman, chief executive officer of Grant Thornton LLP, one of the largest audit, tax and advisory firms in the United States. Chipman’s career at Grant Thornton spans more than 30 years, serving in leadership positions throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Prior to becoming U.S. CEO, he served two years as chief executive of Grant Thornton China Management Corp., where he was responsible for leading the firms’s growth and development in China.

“China continues to provide significant opportunities for U.S. businesses, but not without risk,” Chipman said. “There are numerous considerations — regulatory, political, labor, compliance and consumer behaviors — to take into account in order to bring to fruition successful business growth that includes this important market.”

The conference will feature remarks by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Provost Jeff Vitter and School of Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi, as well as panel discussions with Jeff Gentry, chief executive of Wichita-based Invista, and Gerry Lopez, president and chief executive of Kansas City’s AMC Theatres.

Panel moderators will include professors from the School of Business and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The conference is presented in partnership with KU’s Center for East Asian Studies and Confucius Institute. The Institute for International Business, housed within the School of Business, was first established in 1993 as the Center for International Business to promote the internationalization of students and faculty and to foster best global business practices within the region.

Registration is required to attend by Feb. 15, and space is limited. Attendees can register online.

Happy Kansas Day, Kansans! We caught sunflowers standing tall at the Grinter Family Farms just outside Lawrence last fall. You may wonder how the sunflower came to be the State flower in 1903 and we found an excerpt from Kansas legislation: Whereas, Kansas has a native wild flower common throughout her borders, hardy and conspicuous, of definite, unvarying and striking shape, easily sketched, moulded, and carved, having armorial capacities, ideally adapted for artistic reproduction, with its strong, distinct disk and its golden circle of clear glowing rays -- a flower that a child can draw on a slate, a woman can work in silk, or a man can carve on stone or fashion in clay; and Whereas, This flower has to all Kansans a historic symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairies, and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present, and richly emblematic of the majesty of a golden future, and is a flower which has given Kansas the world-wide name, "the sunflower state"... Be it enacted ... that the helianthus or wild native sunflower is ... designated ... the state flower and floral emblem of the state of Kansas.

Have family visiting Lawrence? #exploreKU and take them to the @KUnhm like @ChrisCanDesign did.
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (, associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times